Vacation is all about having fun and enjoying yourself, which usually entails sleeping too much and indulging in some of your favorite foods, right? The food specialties are different everywhere you travel, and no vacation is complete until you get to try it all. Just like Texas is known for the best steaks and burgers, and Chicago is known for its hot dogs, Florida cooks up some of the best southern food… or as we call it, southern comfort food! Although eating out is one of the many perks of vacationing, preparing food at your vacation home is a fun activity for the whole family to get involved in. With a happy, delicious ending!
So, if you’re looking for some tasty, Florida-style meals you can prepare at your Orlando vacation home, we’ve got you covered. Jot them down or take a screenshot, whichever you prefer, but we promise you won’t want to lose these yummy recipes.
Fried Fish Sandwich: Being so close to the water makes Florida natives excel at preparing seafood. Fresh seafood is sold at nearly every grocery store in Central Florida! Don’t worry, this recipe doesn’t call for a fryer – as long as you’ve got a frying pan and some vegetable oil, you’re good to go! Grouper, mahi mahi or cod is all just as delicious for this southern meal, so choose your favorite… and don’t forget to serve with fries!
Grilled Alligator: You won’t find this kind of meat on any restaurant menu in New York City! Florida natives switch up their menus every once in a while and grill up some gator (or fry it!).
You may be thinking, How do I cook gator, or, Where can I purchase it? Well, there are multiple ways to cook gator, some are easier to prepare than others, depending on how much time you have to spare in the kitchen. Gator meat tastes similar to chicken, just more tender and juicier. Preparing alligator is a lot like cooking chicken, too. You can throw it on the grill with salt and pepper, or add it to your chili – either way, the meat is very flavorful, so no need for tons of seasoning.
The hardest part about cooking up this southern delicacy is finding a place to purchase it. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! If you’re spending a few days at your Orlando vacation home, you can order the meat online and have it delivered right to your doorstep, or search for an alligator meat market near the area you’re staying.
Southern Chili: Chili is one of those dishes that just makes you feel all comfy and cozy inside. And something about the beef, beans and BBQ sauce just screams winter in the south. This Florida food is perfect for the days you’ll be out and about and away from the kitchen because you can just throw all the ingredients in a slow cooker and eight hours later you have dinner ready and a house that smells like a true southern home. We’re even sharing the secret to authentic, southern chili… sugar and some good ol’ BBQ sauce!
Barbecued Turtle: Anything with BBQ sauce is sure to be a southern favorite, but barbecued turtle is a dish you’ll only find on a Florida menu. This dish calls for your favorite BBQ sauce, some veggies and an oven (the oven keeps the meat juicy and flavorful). If this dish isn’t enough, you can check out some other ways to cook turtle here.
Oysters on the Half Shell: There are many ways to eat oysters…you can grill 'em, fry 'em, broil 'em or even eat them raw! Oysters cook right up in no time – they just take a few minutes to clean and prep. The secret to this Florida food is tons of butter, so make sure you grab enough at the grocery store!
We couldn’t forget all the folks with a sweet tooth!
Orange Marmalade: Everyone knows Florida is home to the sweetest, juiciest oranges, and although there are many ways to cook with oranges, marmalade is one of our favorites. Who doesn’t love a fresh piece of toast with a spread of tangy marmalade in the morning with their breakfast? But keep in mind, this Florida treat has to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours before you enjoy it.
Key Lime Pie: Who says you have to travel down to Miami or the Florida Keys to get a slice of key lime pie? This Florida dessert is perfect for any time of the year, although many Florida natives say it's best in the summer time. After just one hour in the kitchen, your pie is ready!
So, on your next trip to Florida, ditch the long wait times at the restaurants and grill up some local fare right in your vacation home's kitchen! And if you ever find yourself at a loss of recipes, just throw some BBQ sauce on your favorite meat and it’s already a Florida-inspired meal!